Myth Busting: DIY Bed Bug Treatment

Myth Busting: DIY Bed Bug Treatment

Bed bugs can be a huge burden for home and business owners alike and the sheer thought of these blood sucking insects is enough to keep anyone up all night.

These crawling insects can deliver a multitude of aggravating bites which can itch for hours, and can sometimes be particularly troublesome to control.

Find out more about bed bug bites

More often than not people will have a go at a DIY solution using home remedies to control bed bugs before contacting a professional exterminator.

But which home remedies for bed bugs actually work? And what can you do to help stop them from spreading? Read on to find out!

Home remedies for bed bugs

Ultrasonic devices

Like with most DIY solutions for pests, there has been a lot of discussion around using ultrasonic devices in order to repel bed bugs.


The idea behind this home remedy for bed bugs is to use ultrasonic devices, typically those that you plug into the wall. The high frequencies of the sound waves emitted from the device is believed to be uncomfortable for bed bugs, forcing them to leave the area.

Myth or Fact:


Like with most theories of using ultrasonic devices as home remedies for pests, these devices have no effect on bed bugs whatsoever. Michael F.Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington explains that ultrasonic devices have never “proven themselves to be effective control tools. If anything, I would expect the bugs to utilize them as a haven since they often emit small amounts of heat” (Mann, D).

Baking soda

When discussing home remedies for bed bugs, baking soda is often a popular option. But can baking soda kill bed bugs?


The method around this popular DIY bed bug treatment is to sprinkle baking soda around the areas which bed bugs typically inhabit such as the mattress and the area around your bed. After a few days, you’re supposed to vacuum it up and repeat the process.

Baking soda is believed to get rid of bed bugs by absorbing the surface fluids on the waxy layer of a bed bug’s shell and cause them to dehydrate. It is also thought that the small granules of baking soda can cut into a bed bugs shell and cause internal bleeding.

Myth or Fact:


There is no scientific evidence to suggest that baking soda is a successful home remedy for bed bugs. Baking soda actually breaks down when in comes into contact with water, so the idea that it can absorb the thick fluids found on a bed bug shell is quite questionable. Although it may seem to work in some instances it is not a guaranteed fix to fully remove a bed bug infestation from a property.

Wash bedding

Beds are often the main area of your home that become infested with bed bugs. Because of this, it is believed that washing your bedding is an effective DIY bed bug treatment.


Strip the bedding from your bed and place in a black bin liner and transfer them to the washing machine. Wash the bedding on a high heat of at least 60℃ ideally for 90 minutes.

The theory behind this home remedy for bed bugs is based on the impact of heat. Bed bugs aren’t too fond of high temperatures, you could argue that it’s their worst enemy. The high temperature of the washing machine helps kill bed bugs – adults, nymphs and eggs.

Myth or Fact:


Washing your bedding is an effective method to get rid of bed bugs. The use of heat is a great way to eradicate bed bugs, and is one of the main features of our professional solution of bed bugs.

However, it is important to note that although washing your bedding is a good home remedy for bed bugs it is not a 100% guaranteed fix. Yes, it can reduce the amount of bed bugs in your home but it won’t fully remove them.

Moth balls

Like with ultrasonic devices, moth balls are often regarded as a good DIY pest control option for multiple pests including bed bugs.


For this bed bug home remedy it is suggested that you place a handful of mothballs around the common bed bug hot spots such as underneath your bed, sofa and other furniture. The theory behind this method is that the chemicals used in mothballs have quite a pungent smell, something bed bugs don’t like. Because of this it is believed that the smell of mothballs naturally repels bed bugs.

Myth or Fact:


Studies have been conducted to test the effectiveness of mothballs as a home remedy for bed bugs. Changlu Wang and his research team at Rutgers University in New Jersey tested the effectiveness of this DIY bed bug treatment option. The results showed that the mothballs failed to wipe out bed bugs after 7 days. Although between 44-60% of the adult bed bugs died, the eggs and bed bug nymphs still survived (Milius S).

Talcum powder

Talcum powder is a popular home remedy for bed bugs, but how effective is it?


There are two methods for using talcum powder to get rid of bed bugs. They are:

  1. Sprinkle talcum powder around the bed bug hotspots such as underneath bedroom furniture. Similar to baking soda, it is believed that talcum powder will get rid of bed bugs by causing them to dehydrate.
  2. Create a trap by putting some talcum powder in a bowl and placing them underneath your bed. Bed bugs will be able to get into the bowl but the talcum powder will make it too slippery for them to get out.

Myth or Fact:


Like with baking powder, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea of talcum powder getting rid of bed bugs by causing them to dehydrate. This is because the powder is not sharp enough to penetrate a bed bug’s exoskeleton. However, using talcum powder as part of a bed bug trap does have some success, but it does not fully eradicate a bed bug problem.


Due to its simplicity, vacuuming if often regarded as a successful home remedy for bed bugs.


Vacuum your home thoroughly. Pay close attention to the bed bug hot spots such as underneath furniture, and between wall joints. Use the attachments to get into the hard-to-reach areas as well as along the seams of your mattress, cushions and pillows. Once finished, empty the contents of the vacuum in an outside bin.

Myth or Fact:


Vacuuming is an effective DIY bed bug treatment. Unlike other home remedies, this process can help remove both adult bed bugs and nymphs as well as the eggs. It is important to remember to empty the vacuum in an outside bin to help reduce the possibility of them returning. However, it is worth noting, that like most DIY pest control solutions, vacuuming will not fully eradicate bed bugs from your home, but it can help reduce the numbers.


Rubbing alcohol

The use of rubbing alcohol is among the most popular home remedies for bed bugs as it is believed to both kill and repel these biting insects.


Purchase a bottle of rubbing alcohol from your local pharmacy and pour the contents into a spray bottle. Apply the solution to the common bed bug hot spots such as underneath furniture and on your bed frame.

Myth or Fact:


It all depends on the alcohol percentage. Another study conducted by Changlu Wang and his research team at Rutgers University showed that after being sprayed with rubbing alcohol, half the of the bed bugs still survived after four days (Milius S).

However, it is believed that an alcohol percentage of 90% or above will effectively kill bed bugs. But this concentration of alcohol can have a negative impact on your health, whilst also causing a major fire hazard, and is NOT advised.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is regarded as a natural form of bed bug control.


For this DIY bed bug treatment it is recommended that you dilute around 20 drops of tea tree oil in a spray bottle filled with water and apply the solution to the common bed bug hot spots.

This home remedy for bed bugs is believed to work as the tea tree oil soaks into a bed bug’s exoskeleton, leading to suffocation.

Myth or Fact:


This bed bug home remedy is only partly effective it is sprayed directly onto the insect, and thus will not fully solve a bed bug problem. Furthermore, it is argued that only undiluted tea tree oil will work, which is something that can be harmful to humans, and is NOT advised.


Just like heat, bed bugs aren’t too fond of the cold either, that’s why freezing is often another DIY treatment option.


Place infested items such as pillows and duvets into your freezer for a minimum of 10 hours. For this bed bug home remedy to be successful the temperature of the freezer needs to be at least -17℃.

Myth or Fact:


Freezing infested items is an effective home remedy for bed bugs. However, like with most home remedies it is not a foolproof solution to fully remove bed bugs from your home.

But it is an effective way to help reduce the number of bed bugs in your home, and to remove them from infested items.

Dryer sheets

Like with mosquitoes and gnats, dryer sheets are also believed to be an effective home remedy for bed bugs.


Place scented dryer sheets underneath your mattress, in cupboards and drawers, underneath sofa cushions and any other areas you might expect bed bugs. The idea behind the success of this DIY bed bug treatment is the scent of the dryer sheets repels bed bugs.

Myth or Fact:


There is no scientific evidence to support the success of dryer sheets repelling bed bugs. Even if the scent of the dryer sheets does repulse bed bugs, they will often find a way around them to get to their food source.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a popular home remedy for multiple pests, and bed bugs are no exception.


Apply a fine amount of diatomaceous earth along the seams of your mattress, bed frames and furniture. This home remedy for bed bugs is believed to work by causing the bed bugs to die of dehydration.

Myth or Fact:


Diatomaceous earth can be an effective DIY bed bug treatment. However, there are a couple of elements which lead to its success.

It has been suggested that the amount of diatomaceous earth applied affects how well this home remedy for bed bugs work. Too much and the bed bugs will simply navigate around it, and it can also be bad for your health if inhaled.

Pest Control Technology ran a study to show the effectiveness of Diatomaceous earth to get rid of bed bugs. Although the results showed that as a stand alone treatment it’s not a foolproof solution. The most effective way to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of bed bugs is alongside other bed bug control options.

Professional Bed Bug Control

The best way to get rid of bed bugs is with the help of a pest control professional. At Rentokil we have a range of different bed bug solutions such as our Entotherm heat pod to successfully eradicate bed bugs from a property.

Think you have a bed bug problem? Get in contact with Rentokil today.

Bedbug tansy is popular, but how effective is it?

If you suspect you’ve come into contact with bedbugs while traveling, the important thing is not to let them hitch a ride with you on your clothes or luggage to the next place you stay.

The University of Minnesota has a short guide to show you what bedbugs look like, and how to inspect and sanitize your belongings.

In brief summary, you’ll want to have plastic bags (preferably the thick contractor kind) and access to a clothes dryer.

at home

If you’ve discovered an infestation in your home, or you’ve found out that a neighbor has bedbugs, the most important thing is to get informed. A great place to start is the FAQs. also has a good list of do’s and don’ts.

While the temptation to do something, anything, to address the problem immediately is strong, you could end up inadvertently making things worse for yourself and your neighbors. So have patience and read those FAQs!

If you want to avoid bedbugs.

The key to avoiding a bedbug infestation is to learn as much as you can about them before your paths cross.

Here are some effective steps you can take:

while traveling

  • Find out what bedbugs look like. Adults are easily visible (dark brown and about the size of a tick), but the nymphs are translucent and quite small. Bed bugs in all stages of life are extremely flat, so they can hide in surprising places.
  • Remember that bed bugs don’t care about cleanliness! They can thrive in an immaculate, five-star hotel room just as easily as somewhere run-down. All they need is proximity to people and a crevice to hide in.
  • Learn how to check a hotel room for signs of bed bugs. You should know how to examine a mattress and how to examine a headboard, the most common hiding places for the bugs.
  • Store your luggage on a metal rack or luggage stand away from walls and furniture. This will greatly reduce the risk of bringing home an unwelcome visitor .
  • If you are very worried about bringing bed bugs home, consider bringing along a product like the packtite, a portable heating unit for luggage.
  • Pack light, and bring things that you can put through the dryer before returning home. A few minutes at high heat will be enough to kill bed bugs and their eggs without damaging most clothing. But you must ensure everything is heated all the way through.

at home

  • Reduce clutter. The fewer places bedbugs have to hide, the better your chances of catching an infestation before it can get established.
  • Check the registry, and talk to your neighbors! Bedbugs can spread easily within a building, so it’s important to know if you are at elevated risk.
  • Take steps to make your sleeping quarters inhospitable to bedbugs. This can include buying mattress encasements, using a steel bed frame, and caulking all cracks and crevices to reduce hiding places.
See also:  Bugs That Jump (And How They Do It) is the best all-around website on the growing bedbug crisis. Be sure to read their extensive FAQs.

Managing bed bugs, by the university of Nebraska. Useful photos of nymphs.

A handy bedbug fact sheet from Michael Potter at the University of Kentucky.

The packtite destroys bedbugs and eggs in luggage through heating.

Mattress encasements create a physical barrier between you and bugs living in your bed.

Contractor plastic bags are unglamorous but essential in making sure debugged stuff stays that way.

A steam cleaner will kill bedbugs and eggs in areas where it is directly applied.

Bedbug traps are a useful way to monitor your progress against an infestation.

Tansy: A Bitter Mint Alternative

You are here: Home / Spices / Tansy: A Bitter Mint Alternative

Tansy’s use was first recorded by the Greeks who used it mainly as a medicine and for preserving bodies before burial. The herb was still in use in the 8th century where it was planted in Charlemagne’s herb gardens, and Benedictine monks in Switzerland also used it. The ailments treated with tansy include fevers, rheumatism and intestinal worms.

Throughout the Middle Ages, tansy was strewn on the floors of homes, possibly because the herb was great for repelling mice and insects. Like costmary, tansy was sometimes called Bible leaf and was used to mark Bible pages.

Tansy became associated with meals during lent during the 1400s. It was used to represent the bitter herbs consumed by the Israelites in Egypt.

In the 1800s, Irish folk medicine often prescribed tansy baths as a treatment for rheumatism. The Irish also used it as a culinary herb, to season their traditional blood pudding.

The herb was well known in early American history and was most likely brought over to the Americas by European settlers. It was a popular element in funeral wreaths. In the 17th century, the Massachusetts governor recommended that tansy be grown in the state’s herb gardens.

While tansy is no longer considered effective by the standards of modern medicine, it has not been thrown out altogether. Herbalists still sometimes prescribe it for treating fevers and jaundice.

The name may have any of several origins. Just like the herb’s common names in the romance languages, the English name is traceable to the Latin word athanasia. Athanasia translates to immortality. The name may have come about because of the herb’s use in preparing bodies for burial.

Tansy is not widely cultivated, but is typically foraged instead.

Tansy flavor profile

Tansy has a reputation for bitterness. It is intensely bitter, which is one of the reasons that it has fallen out of favor as a culinary herb. Its aroma is similar to that of mint.

Health benefits of tansy

You should approach with caution, and it is strongly suggested that you not take the herb internally without the guidance of an experienced herbalist. However, it is known to have some important health benefits that come from the fact that it contains compounds like:

  • Thujone: Tansy contains a high concentration of the monoterpene thujone, which is what makes it effective against intestinal worms.
  • Bitter glycosides: The bitter glycosides in tansy can help it to ease fevers and to treat stomach disorders.

You can use tansy for its ability to treat or prevent conditions like:

  • Foodborne illness: One of tansy’s oldest applications is for preserving meat. Studies have shown that it is effective against E. coli bacteria and other microbes that can make you sick.
  • Digestive problems: Tansy is an effective carminative and can help to relieve indigestion.

Health concerns

Tansy contains high levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause serious health problems. Pregnant women should not consume tansy as it can induce miscarriages. While the thujone in tansy does offer some benefits, it can also cause hallucinations and convulsions.

Common uses

One of the traditional uses of tansy is as an alternative to mint in a mint sauce for lamb. However, mint sauce is a historical application and not one that you will see much anymore. You can use it to make a tea or add it in small amounts to salads for a spicy note. Tansy is rarely consumed internally.


Spicy food fan?

Visit our sister site PepperScale. Discover 500+ spicy recipes and hundreds of pepper profiles, comparisons, cooking tips + more.

Integrity Botanicals

Posted By Emily Barth Isler

There’s something magical about Blue Tansy, starting with the name, which sounds whimsical and mysterious on its own, and continuing on to its properties— Blue Tansy is known to be anti-inflammatory, among other attributes— and ending with its remarkable scent. It’s not surprising that Blue Tansy has been a very popular, buzzy ingredient in green beauty for the past several years. In traditional medicine, it was used as an antihistamine, to reduce nasal congestion. It’s often used as a (wonderful-smelling) insect repellant. In 19th century Ireland, it was common for people to bathe in a mixture of Tansy and salts to alleviate joint pain. To this day, some people still use Blue Tansy as an ingredient to treat fevers, colds, and jaundice.

Whether these uses are scientifically-backed or traditional folklore, there is definitely proof that people LOVE Blue Tansy in their skincare.

The first time I ever heard of it or tried it was in May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon. May began developing her cult-status blue balm back in 2009, but it was years before that when she first discovered the magic of Tansy. “I first stumbled across the mention of this powerful plant as a teenager, twenty years ago. I initially read about blue tansy in a library book while studying plant medicine and aromatherapy. Blue tansy kept popping up as a hero for trauma— offering its gifts for both emotional and physical pain,” she says.

Leahlani Skincare founder Leah Klasovsky also recounts her introduction to Blue Tansy. “The first time that I encountered this beautiful, blue oil was during a waxing mishap during esthetician school. Flashback to 13 years ago, I was so excited to get my very first eyebrow wax, but the second the wax strip came off, my skin began to burn like no other- immediately turning red and inflamed. One of our instructors came running over with this tiny bottle of deep-blue, sweet-smelling bliss and gently dabbed it around the area and instantly, like magic, the burning dissipated and the inflammation was gone. I was shocked at just how effective one tiny drop of oil could be at helping to alleviate the burning. Needless to say, in that instant, I fell in love with Blue Tansy and it remains one of my all-time favorite essential oils (on par with Neroli).”

We interviewed some of our favorite skincare founders about their love for Blue Tansy, and one more favorite founder, Laurel Skin’s Laurel Shaffer, about her love of a similar ingredient, German Chamomile (or Blue Chamomile), which comes from Matricaria chamomilla, a different plant that is also rich in azulene. Azulene is the compound that gives both Tansy and Blue Chamomile their rich, blue hue, and is also one of the things that make both plants good at treating inflammation in the skin. There’s a lot to love about these blue potions, whether you like them in your facial skincare routine or in your aromatherapy. Even if you’ve never tried anything with a blue hue before, read on. You’ll likely want to after reading about how magical Blue Tansy (and Blue Chamomile) can be!

“The Blue Cocoon is my twice-a-day, every-day magic for maintaining my skin that has finally found its best and healthiest state. It has changed my world and that of many thousands of others. Designed with the intent to calm and soothe the inflammatory conditions of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, and acne, even normal skin types see incredible benefit. Thanks to the hero ingredient, Blue Tansy, it effectively calms and relieves inflammation on a magical level. It’s like a meditation and spa vacation for your skin— in aromatherapy, blue tansy is used to reduce anxiety, heal sleep disorders and soften the feeling of being out of control. Total bonus: The Blue Cocoon doubles as my favorite eye and lip treatment of all time.”

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If you’re new to Blue Tansy, I’d definitely recommend starting what will become your love affair with May’s Blue Cocoon. I first tried it in 2016, when it was already a bonafide cult hit among green beauty enthusiasts and conventional beauty connoisseurs alike. I remember thinking the scent was intoxicatingly wonderful, and then marveling at how great it made my skin feel. A few weeks later, I saw the results of how much better it made my skin look, and I was completely sold. I found it very helpful for breakouts, and still use it on them to this day.

Another product that I love for treating breakouts is Moss Skincare’s Zen Psychic Botanical Spot Treatment which also contains Blue Tansy.

Anyone who wants to experience the aromatherapeutic magic of Blue Tansy must turn to Leahlani Skincare.

“Blue Tansy Essential Oil, also known as Moroccan Chamomile, comes from a seasonal crop in Northern Morocco and it requires optimal conditions to grow- making it quite rare and costly to obtain. It has a thicker viscosity and a rich and dreamy indigo blue color, reminiscent of the deep blue sea. The blue color comes from the natural chamazulene that is formed when the plant material is exposed to heat during distillation. Chamazulene is what makes Blue Tansy so magical at helping to calm and soothe skin irritation, reducing inflammation and redness almost instantly. It has a very distinctive scent, sweet like apples with a strong herbaceous aroma that immediately evokes a sense of peace and relaxation. I have noticed the variations in scent over the years with each new crop that I am supplied with, sometimes the warm and herbaceous scent overpowers the sweet, middle notes. The most recent crop, in my opinion, is the sweetest and most gorgeous one I have smelled yet.”

— Leah Klasovsky, Leahlani Skincare founder and esthetician

You can find Blue Tansy oil in Leahlani’s Happy Hour Balancing Serum, Honey Love Microdermabrasion Exfoliator, and, of course, in their Bless Beauty Balm and Aromatherapy Essence. The Bless Essence is not intended for use on the face, but these other Leahlani products with Blue Tansy work well on sensitive and delicate skin types and to soothe redness and irritation.

“I chose this precious ingredient for Cosmic Glow Oil for its characteristics that can help to calm and soothe skin as well as the mind. Studies show that chamazulene, one of the chemical components of blue tansy that is released during the steam-distillation process, possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties in addition to being an antioxidant. From an aromatherapeutic perspective, blue tansy has an herbaceous, relaxing scent. Smell is of course so subjective, but I have found blue tansy to generally be a fan-favorite. Visually blue is a super calming color so I was also drawn to this oil instinctually. The beautiful sapphire color of blue tansy blended with the golden yellows of other ingredients such as camellia and baobab create Cosmic Glow’s celestial green hue.”

— Melissa Medvedich, certified aromatherapist and founder of Supernal

Supernal is a relatively new brand, but it immediately became a favorite of every skincare fanatic I know, myself included! Medvedich, a former creative director and graphic designer, went on to study aromatherapy and brought her minimalistic approach and stunning aesthetic to her first product, Supernal’s Cosmic Glow. Cosmic Glow is the epitome of Green Beauty— it’s clean, effective, natural, and it’s actually Green, thanks, in part, to Blue Tansy!

German Chamomile is so well-suited to extreme skin sensitivities. Since we work with so many spas and estheticians, we see a lot of reactive and sensitized skin that has significant barrier damage. Because of this, we need our sensitive skin products to be extra extra gentle – which goes beyond treating inflammation alone. German Chamomile has absolutely no contraindications or possibility for further sensitization. It is even recommended for small children.”

— Laurel Schaffer, Laurel Skin founder and esthetician

Laurel introduced me to the other popular azulene-rich oil, German Chamomile or Blue Chamomile. Similar to Blue Tansy, this essential oil is blue, soothing, and great for helping inflamed skin. You can also find German Chamomile in Laurel’s Blemish Treatment and Unburden Serum.

Earthwise Beauty‘s Marshmallow Face Cleanser is one of several products on that utilizes BOTH of these azulene-rich Blue oils.

“We use blue tansy (Moroccan chamomile) oil in Marshmallow Face Cleanser, along with two other chamomile essential oils, blue chamomile and Roman chamomile. Blue tansy is one of the top anti-inflammatory essential oils due to its high content of azulene. Blue tansy is also anti-allergenic and very safe for topical use. There are a few other essential oils that are high in azulene that give them a stunning dark blue color along with their healing properties – namely blue chamomile and yarrow. What makes blue tansy special is that its scent is more floral than cool and herbal, rendering it easy and appealing to use in formulas. Although the quality of the blue tansy oils on the market varies tremendously, and only top artisanal growers and distillers achieve that floral edge to the scent.”

And wait! There’s even more!! Blue Tansy is so popular because it’s so effective, which means it’s used in a lot of our favorite products. This is only about half of them, but here are some Blue Tansy-rich things we also love:

Josh Rosebrook’s Blue Tansy-rich Vital Balm Cream and Advanced Hydration Mask both have Blue Tansy, plus the Advanced Hydration Mask also contains Blue Chamomile!

Kypris’ Cleanser Concentrate and Cerulean Mask are both treats for the skin and for the senses.

Honua’s new Māhealani Moonlit Glow is wonderful and utilizes Blue Tansy for its calming, soothing properties.

Kahina Giving Beauty’s Oil Cleanser, Lip and Face Balm, and my personal favorite, the Moisture Mask, all contain Blue Tansy.

Sometimes, when things get super-trendy, it’s not for any good reason other than great marketing. But the Blue Tansy (and other azulene-rich) ingredient craze is not just a fad or the luck of great PR. Azulene is the real deal, and Blue Tansy is popular because it works. Whether you like to use it as aromatherapy, as skincare, or as both, there’s always a way to incorporate it into your skincare routine if you are interested in trying it out. Luckily, Blue Tansy plays well with other ingredients, so you don’t have to completely overhaul your skincare routine to start enjoying its benefits. A little dab of Bless Aromatherapy Essence or a touch of Blue Cocoon on your lips and eyes is a great way to start. I can almost guarantee you’ll fall in love and want to add more of the Blues to your life.

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